Changes to the Temporary work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa program will take place progressively (effective from 19 April 2017) ahead of the 457 visa being abolished and replaced altogether with the introduction of a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
While the current visa status of existing Subclass 457 visa holders in Australia remains unaffected by these changes, employers will need to be aware of how these changes impact on all new (and unfinalised) Subclass 457 visa applications going forward up until the TSS visa is introduced in March 2018.
(Note: All unfinalised applications (i.e. lodged with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) but not decided on or before 18 April 2017) which do not meet the new eligible occupation requirements will not be approved. A refund of the DIBP lodgement fees may be available).
Importantly, employers will also need to consider their 457 visa holders’ eligibility to qualify for the new TSS visa as well as eligibility for a permanent migration pathway, given these changes affect both temporary and permanent visa pathways.
Our newsflash provides a summary of the changes by date of implementation (including the immediate removal and restriction of occupations by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection).